11.16.2006

Steady Eddie's Edge?

Single fellows, listen up! Having a steady "Betty" in your life will not only will improve your social life, it may also help your career.

At least, this is what Max thinks.

As a single man working his way up the corporate ladder, Max faced challenges in the all-important "social networking" department. His major obstacle wasn't a shy or timid personality. Rather, Max lost precious face time because he, a dashing, single man, worked in a mostly married man's world. The sad fact was that while married counterparts mingled with other married coworkers outside the office, Max only hung out with them when he did the initiating.

Shortly after we became an item, Max moaned about his situation at work. "I know that I am liked and respected," he said. "But for some reason, I can't break the barrier outside of the office."

However, now that he's happily coupled, all of this has changed. In the last several months, Max and I have accepted several invitations from his coworkers. For some inexplicable reason, having an established girlfriend made Max a more desirable guest. Our dance card has been full, not only with our typical group of friends, but with the upper-echelon of his company.

Whenever we attend one of these functions, I always get the impression that I am being studied as much as Max. With the strong possibility that Max will be taking an on an executive role in the near future, it seems that they want to make sure I am also up to snuff as well. For example, Max's managers often asked how I might like living in a different country. Their wives seem to quickly corner me to find out how I am handling Max's work load and travel schedule. Maybe I read too much into the conversations, but it often seems like Max and I are the stars of some bizarre, corporate dog and pony show. Who knows?

Still, all of this does make me wonder whether married men have an edge over single ones. And if so, can the same be said for working, single women?

Your thoughts?

9 comments:

Siryn said...

You are in a dog and pony show.

By being attached, you show that you are less likely to be socially inept and have a life. It's a sign of some maturity.

And yes, YOU personally are being scrutinized, Diane. Luckily for Max, you're both beautiful and intelligent! All the wives are being catty, yes, in their cornering you and checking you out.

As for whether or not it applies in the reverse... I don't know, it probably does, but not the same way. You're viewed more as a "first lady" and while the corresponding "first husband" exists theoretically, it's just not the same because of our society's gender biases.

running42k said...

Interesting. I look at where I work and the single guys with no family are here late, working a lot. Family type guys, like me, are out of here to go spend time with our families.

As for associating with work folks outside of work, I do it with one guy and his family. Otherwise leave work at work, and family with family.

JustJunebug said...

In some corporate cultures the singleton is the most desired because "they have nothing better to do"; but probably in what Max does its exactly the opposite. The coupled couple seems to win out when it comes to all things wonderful in the job front.

i see wonderful cocktail dresses in your future.

kenju said...

I would agree with everything the others said. But I don't think that married women get the same treatment. They are always suspect for the possibility of getting pregnant, not wanting to move if they do have kids, etc., even more so than single women.

├ůsa said...

Diane! A year ago or so, Sweden’s leading financial magazine had an article about what is needed to become a high executive. This was based on statistics. You have to be:
• Male
• Caucasian
• Married
• Straight (=not gay)

My analysis of why you have to be married is that then you have the base-camp all taken care of. No one can climb Mount Everest w/o a good base-camp. You can concentrate on work when you are at work, because you know you’ll have something to come home to. A person who can work long hours is not necessarily productive.

I bet they are scrutinising both of you. But do they have to make it so obvious?! Luckily for the two of you – I’m sure being yourselves will be perfect!

mal said...

The "Corporate Wife" was a fixture in the 50's and 60's. Although it still exists, I think it is less common today. I suspect the "interest" is primarily because you are new players in well established social dynamic. That is not an easy place to be.

Single career women? Speaking from experience, unless you have a significant and uncommon field of expertise, it is very hard to be taken seriously. Even then, your committment is always under scrutiny.

utenzi said...

Should you stay together, or better yet marry, you'll be a huge asset to Max's career. He's probably been on-hold to some degree being single. It's a double standard tho--'cause this marital status thing doesn't hold back women, but the glass ceiling does.

niels said...

Quite persuasive. In fact, why would anyone date a man without a girlfriend?

3rdtimesacharm( 3T ) said...

I think you're right, based on my own personal experience. My husband and I were married in 2003 and he has received two substantial promotions since that time. Being a "married-family-man" added to his persona. Although hard work and talent at what you do comes first, the advancement ceiling broke open once he was married. (Which is good for all of us, of course!)
Well that was my perceptions anyway.

3T
PS. Cocktail dresses are fun to shop for! ;-)